31 January 2024
Together with the Palestine people, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) welcomes the January 26 interim ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the emergency measures on its genocide case against Israel over its war in the Gaza Strip. South Africa brought the case to the ICJ last December 2023 under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
While the ruling fell short of calling for an immediate ceasefire, it ordered six provisional measures including for Israel to refrain from acts under the Genocide Convention, prevent and punish the direct and public incitement to genocide, and take immediate and effective measures to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. The Court also ordered Israel to preserve evidence of genocide and to submit a report to the Court, within one month, of all measures taken in line with its order.
Israel called the decision a “disgrace” and insists on continuing its war escalated from decades of occupation, apartheid, persecution and mass slaughter of Palestinians. The United States, who has been supporting Israel economically, politically, diplomatically and militarily, providing at least $3.8bn in military aid to Israel annually, washed its hands off the charges of genocide and dismissed it as “unfounded”.
In reality, the US is complicit in Israel’s genocide. It has used its veto power several times in the UN Security Council to oppose a ceasefire and uses its influence on countries in the General Assembly to refrain from calling the mass atrocities of Israel as “genocide”. The US used its agencies, the White House, State Department, Defense Department, National Security Agency, and mass media to spread lies and cover up Israel’s crimes like the bombing of hospitals. It is a crime of complicity in the genocide.
More than 26,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed in Israel’s obliteration of Gaza with some 10,000 believed to be still missing under the rubble. At least 1.8 million Palestinians have been displaced and are deprived of access to adequate food, water, shelter, sanitation, and medical assistance. The population of Gaza is starving. More than 300 have been killed and mass arrests of thousands continue in the West Bank and persecution continues in East Jerusalem, all occupied by Israel.
The ICJ ruling is a legal victory stemming from the millions of protesters throughout the world. The UN Security Council has failed. The UN General Assembly has failed. Our only hope is on the militant social movements in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Pressure must be made to bear on the 153 governments who ratified the Genocide Convention to fulfill their obligations and enforce the ICJ ruling. We must press our own governments to call for a ceasefire and thoroughly end Israel’s Zionist occupation, stop the arms sales and military deals with Israel, and cut off all economic and diplomatic ties with the genocidal regime. The boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel must be expanded and other social movements informed, organized and mobilized to support Palestine.
As we demand our own governments to cease their support for the Israeli genocide, we must continue to support the just armed Palestinian resistance which is necessary to defend their land, people and self-determination from the Zionist occupation. Without armed resistance accompanied by peoples global support, the liberation of Palestine will not be possible. Armed struggle is legal in international law in resisting occupation.
The voice of the Palestinian resistance and fight for liberation against the US-Israel war is heard now more than ever before. We express our solidarity with them as we intensify our own struggles against imperialism and local reaction.
The ICJ ruling is one victory. Let us build on this and gain more meaningful victories ahead until Palestine is truly free, from the river to the sea. ###